“For sale, typical English cricket table,” said the auction ad. But what is a cricket table? Is it used for sports like the English game of cricket? Does it have anything to do with the insect?
No. The cricket table was first named and used during the 16th century. The French word “criquet” refers to its stick legs. And the table has three legs, so it can be used where the floor is uneven. Remember your geometry — three points determine a plane, so all three legs of any length will touch the floor at the same time, while a four-legged table might wobble.
Most antique cricket tables have triangular or round tops. Some have shelves halfway down the legs. It was a country furniture idea, and tables can be found that are made of sycamore, ash, oak, elm, cherry or walnut woods. A few have three drop leaves. In 2016, Thomaston Auctions sold an elaborate oak cricket table with sausage-turned legs and a T-stretcher for $1,170.
Q: I have a pitcher decorated with flowers on both sides and marked on the bottom with a castle and the words “Leuchtenburg, Germany.” It’s 7 inches tall. I can’t find this city on the map. Can you identify this pitcher?
A: This mark was used by C.A. Lehman &Son of Kahla, Thuringia, Germany, from about 1910 to 1919. The company was founded as a porcelain decorating shop by Carl August Lehmann and Paul Zierold in 1885. It began making porcelain for export in 1895. The company merged with Franz Bauer Porcelain Manufactory in 1935 to form Bauer &Lehmann. Leuchtenburg isn’t a city, it’s the name of a castle in Seitenroda, Germany, a few miles from Kahla.
Q: I have a Hummel boy doll but can’t find one that looks like it online. It’s 11½ inches high and made of rubber with painted eyes and molded hair. His head, arms and legs are in very good condition. There is a mark on the back with a bee inside a V. Can you tell me anything about its age and value?
A: Hummel porcelain figurines are based on the drawings of the German nun Sister Maria Innocentia, born Berta Hummel. They were first made in 1935 by the W. Goebel Porcelain Co. of Oeslau (now Rodental), Germany. The figurines were very popular and, in the early 1950s, Goebel decided to transform the work of Sister Maria Innocentia into dolls. The earliest dolls had composition heads, arms and legs.
In 1953, Goebel began to make these parts with a rubber material, like your boy doll. Vinyl dolls were made in 1960, and dolls with porcelain heads and cloth bodies were made in the 1980s. Your doll is from the 1700 Series, which was made from 1953 until about 1959.
He is called Peterle and is marked with the “full bee” trademark used by Goebel from 1950 until 1959. The dolls were sold dressed in cloth outfits, some with small accessories like a goose, stein or travel pack. It appears your doll’s clothing is a combination of pieces from other Hummel dolls and doesn’t have any accessories. Dolls like yours sell for $25 to $50.
Q: Over 50 years ago my father gave me a collection of about 20 E. Berliner gramophone records from the late 1800s. Most are signed by the original artist, and they are names like The Sousa Band, F. Gianni, The Hayden Quartet, E. Spangler, etc. He thought they would be valuable in time, and I think they might be. How can I find their value, and where can I sell them?
A: Emile Berliner (1851-1929) was a German-American credited with inventing the gramophone (phonograph) record, the first disc storage for recordings. He was granted his first patent for his method of recording on a flat disc in 1887, a time when cylinder recordings were popular. His first gramophone records were made in Germany for use on a toy gramophone.
Berliner founded the United States Gramophone Co. in Washington, D.C., and made gramophone machines as well as gramophone records beginning in 1894. The first discs were hard rubber. A few were celluloid. Shellac was used beginning in 1895. Sound was recorded on a single side of a 7-inch disc, which held about two minutes of recording. Early gramophones were hand-cranked.
Eldridge Johnson, who made gramophones for Berliner, acquired the patents and changed the name of the company to Victor Talking Machine Co. in 1901. The largest collection of Berliner records is owned by the EMI (Electric and Musical Industries) Archive Trust in England. Early Berliner recordings are rare and few past public sales are listed online. A few years ago, 46 records sold for $6,655, or $144 each.
Q: How much is the book “My Turn at Bat, The Story of My Life” by Ted Williams as told to John Underwood worth? I have a copy autographed by Ted Williams.
A: This book was first published in 1969, when Ted Williams was manager of the Washington Senators. It recently has been republished with new pictures. A copy of the 1969 edition autographed by Ted Williams sold at auction this year for $132.
Tip: Leather that crumbles to red powder has “red rot.” It is caused by absorption of sulfur dioxide and cannot be stopped.
Current prices are recorded from antiques shows, flea markets, sales and auctions throughout the United States. Prices vary in different locations because of local economic conditions.
Bronze medal, Red Cross blood donor award, round, Dr. Karl Landsteiner portrait, Netherlands, 1939, 2 1/4 inches, $20.
Pasta machine, noodle cutter, cast iron and steel, green paint, table mount, crank, metal core, Baccellieri Bros., c. 1910, $95.
Sterling-silver letter seal, etched flowers and garland, spoon handle shaped, round disk seal, France, c. 1905, 3 1/2 inches, $165.
Delft-type serving tray, chips and dip, turntable, blue and white, windmill, flower swags, center bowl with lid, c. 1950, 4 x 14 inches, $290.
Writing desk, wood, stained, lift top, drawer, serpentine apron, ball supports, baluster legs, 1800s, 32 x 32 inches, $380.
Time recording clock, 50 employee, tiger oak, glass, cast iron and brass, cabinet and detachable wheel, International, c. 1915, 39 x 35 inches, $600.
Hat box, leather, holds stovepipe top hat, canvas interior, strap and lock, curved lid with top loop handle, c. 1830, $775.
Wooden puzzle, sphere, carved pyramid shapes, fit to make ball, vertical leather straps, victorian toy, 8-inch diameter, $895.
Bronze vase, ritual, masks and symbols, banding, pierced dragon handles, gourd shaped, lotus blossom foot, Asian, 8 x 6 inches, $1,990.
Breweriana, portable beer tap, hardwood and brass, four taps, bottom cooler, angled feet, c. 1905, 39 x 26 inches, $3,600.